work from home29 Jun 2005
Why not work from home?
In industrial societies we had to go to factories because that was where the machinery was.
With this reason no longer applying for many of us, one would expect to have seen an explosion in the numbers of people working from home. After all, there are enormous costs to having workplaces separate from our homes; commuting and rent to name but two.
Of course, there are lots of things keeping us working in offices: data-feeds; the desire to see colleagues (so I’m told); a need to get away from the kids; and the vain hope that there might be a meeting that isn’t a complete waste of time. But I suspect the main obstacle to the growth of teleworking is not technology but power. Offices (and maybe factories too) exist not because they are technically efficient but because they provide easy ways for the boss class to supervise and control workers.